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Why Vietnam ranks best in world for living greener and better?

Discussion in 'China & Far East' started by Viet, Oct 11, 2018.

  1. Viet


    Jun 18, 2012
    +2 / 14,865 / -2
    Viet Nam
    Quality of Life

    By: Michael Tatarski - Posted on: October 11, 2018 |


    Vietnam performed the best of 151 countries in a study that assessed quality of life versus environmental sustainability. But researchers tell Southeast Asia Globe that, despite its achievements, the best-performing nation on the list still fails to meet the sustainability demands of an increasingly dire ecological outlook

    For Diep Nguyen, life in Vietnam is good. The 32-year-old entrepreneur is a native of Ha Long, a rapidly changing city on the northeast coast known for the karst-studded bay with which it shares a name.

    She now lives in Ho Chi Minh City, where she helps oversee several popular Airbnb properties in the booming commercial centre.

    “The job opportunities in Vietnam are quite good,” Diep said. “I didn’t come from a very big city, and I had a normal education. I started studying English in sixth grade, but it wasn’t very proper. A lot of my friends were like that, and we’re turning out well.”

    Meanwhile, chronic problems associated with a fast-growing city, such as relentlessly expanding urban sprawl, traffic which grows denser by the day, routine flooding and worrying air pollution, are seen as minor hindrances.

    “Of course the traffic and the pollution are annoying in some ways, but it’s just something you have to deal with,” she said. “I’m a positive person.”

    Diep’s upbeat outlook on Vietnam jives with recent findings in a study on the quality of life of earth’s more than 7 billion inhabitants, in which the country performed unexpectedly well.

    A Hmong woman watches the sunset over the Mu Cang Chai rice terrace

    The wide-ranging study, called A Good Life for All Within Planetary Boundaries, published by a group of researchers from the University of Leeds, argues that we need to dramatically rethink the way we view development and its relationship to the environment.

    One of the study’s authors, Dr Andrew Fanning, a Marie Curie Research Fellow at the university’s Sustainability Research Institute, explained how his team undertook the study.

    “We were essentially working on several different indicators and relationships between social outcomes and environmental indicators,” Fanning told Southeast Asia Globe. “We came up with the idea of, well, if we’re looking at social indicators, can we define a level that would be equivalent to a good life?”

    The researchers settled on 11 social indicators that included life satisfaction, nutrition, education, democratic quality and employment.

    “The next question was, what is the level of resource use associated with achieving those basic needs, and how does that then compare to what is environmentally sustainable?” said Fanning.

    The researchers established seven biophysical boundaries against which they measured the social indicators – things like CO2 emissions, material footprint and blue water. In the scientific community, maintaining healthy limits in these areas is considered key to ensuring a sustainable planet moving forward. Essentially, meeting human development goals is meaningless if they come at the expense of the very environment we live in.

    It did surprise us that Vietnam did so well overall. You might expect it to be Costa Rica or Cuba, as Vietnam doesn’t typically come up as a sustainability hero

    The team gathered information on 151 countries, leaving out any with a population of under a million and those without sufficient data. In the end, Vietnam was the most sustainable country. This means it provides the most social benefits while doing the least environmental damage.

    To be clear, these findings do not show that Vietnam provides the best quality of life in the world. In fact, according to the research, no country currently has a sustainable way of improving the lives of its people. Germany, for example, met all 11 social indicators, but it also failed at five environmental boundaries. Such a result suggests that the development model of highly industrialised nations is not the way forward, and developing countries need to find a new path if they hope to offer a sustainable livelihood.

    The findings also set up an intriguing political debate in an era when the dominant liberal democratic model faces scrutiny around the world. By and large, the countries that performed best socially but worst environmentally are advanced democracies, while Vietnam is a single-party state that scored poorly in terms of democratic quality.

    “It did surprise us that Vietnam did so well overall,” Fanning said. “You might expect it to be Costa Rica or Cuba, as Vietnam doesn’t typically come up as a sustainability hero.” Fanning was referring to two countries the researchers expected to do well since they generally provide good social support and haven’t seen the same environmental damage many countries have.


    Indeed, national media routinely tell stories of deforestation, industrial pollution and mountains of plastic waste, issues that have a sharp impact on the daily livelihoods for many. At face value, these problems don’t portray a sustainable nation, but by taking a close look at the methodology behind the research, one can get a sense of how Vietnam fared so well.

    Fanning’s group used a consumption-based method for the environmental indicators. “This means that if Vietnam is producing goods and services which are then exported, the environmental degradation related to that production is not attributed to Vietnam; it is attributed to wherever those goods and services are consumed,” he explained.

    This presents a huge advantage for Vietnam, which is an export powerhouse across sectors such as agriculture, textiles and electronics. According to MIT’s Observatory of Economic Complexity, in 2016, Vietnam exported over $207 billion worth of goods, largely finished products like smartphones and televisions. Samsung alone ships millions of made-in-Vietnam phones globally every year – yet, under this methodology, none of the associated environmental damage falls on Vietnam.

    Fanning added that it is also important to keep in mind that the study has a global focus: “The planetary-boundaries framework is meant to look at tipping points for the earth system as a whole, so it doesn’t really capture local environmental-quality issues. What the framework argues is that now we’re at a point where the human enterprise is so large on a global scale that we need to start talking about planetary impacts, as well as local.”

    This goes against the national-level goals preferred by many countries, like the United States, with its current resistance toward global agreements on climate change. The research stresses that the development path followed by the US and many European nations has been a failure, both for Earth and the people living on it. The complete unsustainability depicted through this research of Germany, a country widely viewed as an eco-friendly icon, highlights the vast shortcomings of modern development theory.

    One final caveat to keep in mind, particularly in regards to Vietnam, is that much of the data used by the researchers came from 2011. In the years since, Vietnam has largely maintained a robust annual growth rate of over 6% of GDP.

  2. 大汉奸柳传志

    大汉奸柳传志 FULL MEMBER

    Mar 27, 2015
    +0 / 3,355 / -3
    jungle dwelling is now considered healthy lifestyle by some western libertard, I m not surprised.

    however if you make them living in Vietnam, good chance they won't last a week
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  3. cochine

    cochine FULL MEMBER

    Aug 19, 2015
    +0 / 309 / -0
    Viet Nam
    Viet Nam
    Waste sorting at source ready to begin in HCM City
    VietNamNet Bridge – A programme to sort waste at source has been started at HCM City’s export processing zones (EPZ) and industrial parks (IP) by the HCM City EPZ Authority (HEPZA) and the Department of Natural Resources and Environment.

    Garbage-sorting bins in HCM City. - VNS File Photo

    The authority has also called on the developers of EPZs and IPs to adopt measures such as placing 240l public garbage cans in the locations, help EPZ and IP management boards supervise the separation of waste by enterprises and report on those not complying with waste sorting regulations.

    A spokesman for the Linh Trung EPZ in Thu Duc District said twin-compartment dust bins have been placed and workers and enterprises at the EPZ have been told to dump their waste in the right one and at scheduled times. The latter have been told to provide training to raise awareness of waste sorting and environmental protection in general, he said.

    Similarly, the Tan Thuan EPZ too has begun the programme, separating organic and inorganic wastes before sending them to garbage collectors. Waste and mud discharged by factories in the EPZ are used to produce fertilisers for plants growing in the zone.

    With this programme, Tan Thuan has been chosen by HEPZA to build the first green EPZ model in the city, and will be emulated by other EPZs and IPs.

    Management of garbage collectors

    According to the head of HEPZA, Nguyen Hoang Nang, documents have been issued to guide the implementation of the programme and discussions have been held with garbage collectors.

    HEPZA has also spoken with the developers of EPZs and IPs about the implementation of the garbage segregation programme, and asked them to place two dust bins (for organic and inorganic wastes) at public locations.

    It has instructed EPZ and IP authorities to supervise and report on garbage collection operations to competent bodies such as the local Department of Natural Resources and Environment.

    It has also sent documents on the programme to the website of the department to enable enterprises to meet its norms.

    It has called on EPZ developers to monitor the competence of garbage collectors and create favourable conditions for those who meet the criteria set by city authorities.

    Nguyen Thi Thanh My, deputy director of the department, said waste is littered everywhere in EPZs and IPs, especially at their entrance.

    The department and HEPZA have taken measures to penalise littering, which also poses the risk of spreading diseases.

    Source: VNS